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We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Connectivity

The Big Idea for Friday, January 20, 2012

It's easy to wax prophetic about the interconnectedness of everything in this digital age. Not long ago, face-to-face conversations across oceans and continents were the stuff of science fiction. Now we can chat with foreign relatives (almost) effortlessly over Skype, or use Google Earth to virtually visit a neighborhood in a different hemisphere. But for all its stunning advances, online communication doesn't come close to replicating the psychological complexity of meeting in person. 

In order to live and work effectively in the "global village," we need to understand the power and limitations of these connective technologies. Skype programmer Jaan Tallinn offers a taxonomy of communication, arguing that even a single digital bit can carry significant emotional weight. Tal Pinchevsky examines the psychological phenomenon of "digital intimacy." Pamela Haag takes a critical look at online dating. And Ethan Zuckerman of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society considers better ways of using the internet to bridge cultural gaps, making the world not only a smaller, but a better place. 

 

Perspectives

  1. 1 The Technology of Trust
    Jason Gots Re-Envision
  2. 2 It’s a Big World, After All.
    Jason Gots Think Tank
  3. 3 Real Online Relationships Don’t Require Real People
    Tal Pinchevsky Trend World
  4. 4 How do We Choose our Mates? The Big Bang Theory vs. the Algorithm
    Pamela Haag Harpy's Review
 

Connectivity

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